Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support In Texas
With money being a heated topic between parents, child support cases are often emotionally charged and highly debated. However, the laws in Texas are clear and provide answers to all questions that arise.
Below are some questions I am commonly asked by my clients about child support. For more information about your specific situation or to schedule a consultation, contact my Wichita Falls firm, Law Office of Laura W. Fidelie, PLLC, by calling 940-557-5334 or sending me an email.
How is the amount of child support determined?
Child support is calculated according to statute-set guidelines and a formula:
- One child = 20% of payer’s net monthly income
- Two children = 25% of payer’s net monthly income
- Three children = 30% of payer’s net monthly income
- Four children = 35% of payer’s net monthly income
- Five children = 40% of payer’s net monthly income
- The amount for six or more children is the same as the amount for five children
Courts can also determine deviations from these calculations when necessary and also include support for other needs of the children, such as childcare, health care, educational expenses and more.
How long do I have to pay child support?
In Texas, child support is paid until the child turns 18 and becomes a legal adult. However, other arrangements can be made and stated otherwise in your divorce decree or other legal documents that account for support while a child may be in college. Also, if a child is disabled, there may be a requirement that support is paid for the entirety of their lifetime.
Can changes be made to child support payments?
Yes, child support payments can be changed through a legal process called modification. A judge would have to approve the modification and either increase or reduce child support payments based on a drastic change in circumstances of one parent. This can include the loss of a job, gaining a job, subsequent marriage or birth of additional children, among other situations.
What happens if payments are not made?
If child support payments are not being made, a range of consequences may result. The nonpaying party may have their wages garnished, income tax refunds withheld, driver’s license suspended or revoked and more. The nonpaying party is also risking jail, as they are in contempt of a court order to pay child support and can be taken into custody until caught up on payments or new arrangements are made.